07/12/2021

Exploring the Underground Writings of Jan Patočka: Decadence and the Cult of Machines

This is the fifth lecture of the series. Contemporary humanity is “simply no longer capable of physically surviving but for a mode of production that rests increasingly on technology,” claims Patočka. And yet, he adds in a text of the 1970s, that mode of production “increasingly devastates the planetary store of energy.” In his fifth essay, Patočka reflects on this – and other – dilemmas of what he calls our “technological civilization.” He refuses to call our civilization “decadent,” yet he is critical of modern Europe’s “deification of force,” and its concomitant “cult of the mechanical.” He believes that our ever-deepening reliance on machine systems endangers the earth – and ourselves. For at our core lies a mystery, and the acute danger of modernity is that, in it, “humans, like all else, are stripped of all mystery.”

Danube Institute present

Exploring the Underground Writings
of

Jan Patočka:
Decadence and the Cult of Machines

David L. Dusenbury pic..jpg

Lecture by Dr. David L. Dusenbury, Visiting Fellow at
Danube Institute,
Respondent György Geréby, Central European University
Introduced by John O’Sullivan, President of Danube Institute

Date: December 7, 2021
 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.


Venue: Scruton DOWNTOWN (1054 Budapest, Zoltán utca 10.)

Dr. David L. Dusenbury:

David is a Visiting Fellow at the Danube Institute. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Leuven and held, most recently, a research fellowship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His books include Platonic Legislations and The Innocence of Pontius Pilate. He has lectured widely in Europe on topics in philosophy, religion, law, and the history of ideas. His essays and criticism have appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Corriere della Serra, American Affairs, and other cultural and political reviews.

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